HDTV penetration has doubled in the past two years with 34 per cent of US households having at least one high definition television (HDTV) set.

Representing about 40 million households, this figure is set to double again over the next two years, according to consumer research from the Leichtman Research Group.

The findings also showed that 22 per cent of all households purchased a new TV set in the past 12 months.

Of these, 43 per cent of this group spent over USD $1,000 on a new TV.

The results are based on a survey of 1,302 households throughout the US, and are part of a new LRG study, HDTV 2008: Consumer Awareness, Interest and Ownership.

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said while more people than ever before have HDTV sets, educating consumers on HD programming remains an issue.

The survey found that about 18 per cent of individuals with an HDTV continue think that they are watching HD programming, but are not.

“About 40 million US households now have at least one HDTV set, and LRG forecasts that this number will double over the next four years,” he said.

Other findings include:

  • Combined, 38% of HD owners say that replacing an old/broken set or wanting to buy a new TV set was the most important reason for getting their HDTV – compared to 22% citing picture quality, and 7% the quality of HD programming or the number of HD channels
  • 44% with annual household incomes over $50,000 have an HDTV compared to 20% with annual household incomes under $50,000
  • 33% of HDTV owners have more than one HDTV set, and 25% are likely to get another HDTV set in the next year
  • 9% of HD owners say that they switched multi-channel video providers when they purchased their HDTV
  • 42% of HDTV owners say that they were told how to receive HD programming when they purchased their set
  • LRG estimates that about 58% of all HD households are now watching HD programming from a multi-channel video provider – up from 53% last year. 

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